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New tariff for UK speeding offences

Sep 11, 2017
By Tim Foster, Director, Pound Gates Insurance

There has recently been considerable publicity regarding a new tariff of fines and other penalties for speeding that came into force on 24th April (in English and Welsh courts). Whilst some media articles implied that a totally new and/or much harsher tariff of penalties now applies to all speeding motorists, in fact the majority of those caught speeding will find the new tariff does not apply.   

First it should be noted the new tariff only applies where attendance at court is required. Court attendance is usually required if you:  

  • already have nine or more points on your licence (six or more if you only recently passed your test); 

  • are challenging a speeding ticket; 

  • haven’t paid a fixed penalty fine (typically £100 and three points); or 

  • were allegedly speeding appreciably over the limit (e.g. 50 mph in a 30 mph limit).  

Fixed penalty notices for lesser speeding offences will continue and so will the option, for those invited, of taking a speed awareness course instead of paying the fine and incurring three points.  

Magistrates use a tariff to guide them in sentencing. It is this which changed on 24th April. Since the last revision of sentencing guidelines in August 2008, magistrates would be guided by a tariff based on the speed limit applying and the offender’s actual speed. From that, penalty points or a disqualification would be imposed, plus a fine. The penalty points and ban tariffs have not changed.   

The fine used to be calculated by applying either Bands A or B to the offender’s ‘relevant weekly income’. However, since 24th April a further Band, C, has been introduced for more serious speeding offences: for example 51 or above in a 30mph zone or 91 and above  where the limit is 60.   

Band C fines are based on 150% of ‘relevant weekly income’ with latitude given to magistrates between 125% and 175% where certain circumstances apply.   

Band B fines range from 75% to 125% of ‘relevant weekly income’ around a base of 100%.   

Fines are capped at £2,500 for speeding on a motorway and £1,000 elsewhere. Therefore, it could be argued the new Band C fines pose little real deterrent to Premier League footballers, or anyone else who enjoys an income typical of such a person. For them it is the disqualification that is the real deterrent. Readers may wish to know the new sentencing guidelines include a note stating: “where an offender is driving grossly in excess of the speed limit the court should consider a disqualification in excess of 56 days”.

Photo: New tariffs will not apply to the majority of those caught speeding.

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